Newsletter May 2008

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Sprawl Lene Lovich: Shadows and Dust  
The Contessa's Party Mad Sprawl  
Raven Cry  
  Carnival to the

May 2008

The Stereo Society has been quiet recently, although we haven’t stopped. Some action is scaling back, some new things are being developed. Mostly, we’re doing less public stuff for now.

This note explains why some things on this site work and some don’t. We’re busy updating our technology so that, for example, streaming audio works. It’s a long haul. Until fall, you won’t notice much difference. Our priority is to keep the music developing, even in the background, and that isn’t always obvious on site. We won’t bombard you with trivial PR releases. You’ll know when we have made something solid.

The Stereo Society site itself, now ten years old, has nearly 1200 pages, and it’s an exceptionally large collection of work, including much recent history. It was started in 1998 as the shop window of our online (only, too far ahead of the beat) record company, but we realized that it was more serious than that. Over a thousand of you visit each day (thanks for voting with your virtual feet). These days, we fulfill sales through CD Baby, and have discontinued our on-site shopping cart. We’re dedicated to keeping the music available, but we also realize that our site pages are often of lasting interest. So they all stay up, even though it costs us.

But technology has progressed. We have to revise the whole thing, if you are to see and hear what we offer. It’s going to be a while. But even though it’s not ‘cost-effective’, we’re improving and restructuring the site so that visitors can eventually enjoy all we have on file without old structures getting in the way.

Authoring Web pages has moved on from where we started ten years ago. In particular, the use of ‘frames’ has all but disappeared. We use three on each page right now: the ‘header’ (containing the arch, the gramophones logo and the title), ‘left’ (containing the pop-up menus to navigate the site) and ‘body’ (the main stuff). This means that when you scroll in the body, the top and the side remain within view. You don’t see this on many other Web pages, although when we have discarded frames we hope to keep this feature through another technology.

Unfortunately, linking within a ‘frameset’ can be buggy, thanks to the basic html code and the browsers that read/display it. As a result, much of the streaming audio on our site now doesn’t work on a contemporary browser. It used to work everywhere. Coded instructions to open a new browser window, which we wrote when linking to an external page, are often ignored.

In the next month or so, we’ll reinstate our E mail newsletter, although there won’t be much to say in the near future, apart from music development notes. Thanks to those of you have been steadily signing up for the subscription. We’re sorry your mailbox hasn’t bulged on our account, but we’ll be moving more after a few months of hard work and fixing old stuff. And we won’t send you filler nonsense, just real stuff.

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